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    Major anomalies in PDS unearthed


    Major anomalies in PDS unearthed

    GUWAHATI, Dec 11 – Challenging bureaucratic smugness and the corrupt system under the Right to Information Act, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Assam has unearthed major anomalies in the Public Distribution System of Golaghat, Jorhat and Sivasagar. Revealing its findings before media persons on Tuesday in the capital city, the KMSS said that the scandals in distribution of flour, rice and other food and essential items in the three districts would be placed before the public one by one.

    The social audit conducted by a 20-member team of the KMSS and consisting an exhausting 1.85 lakh pages in the form of document, has brought to light the rampant corruption patronized by a section of the officials of the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department pushing the poor and the needy to desperation.

    According to the study, in the district of Golaghat, 60 to 70 per cent of rice meant for families above the poverty (APL) line reaches the black market. Though the rice under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) is fixed at Rs 3 per kg and the beneficiaries should get 35 kgs per month, the KMSS said that in some places the beneficiaries got 15 kgs and in certain other places they got 30 kgs at the price ranging from Rs 4 to 5. “The co-operatives in Golaghat release 50 quintals of the Antyodaya rice every month in the black market,” alleged Akhil Gogoi, general secretary of KMSS.

    Gogoi further said that the below poverty level (BPL) beneficiaries in the district too were being deprived of their allotted quota of rice as the Panchayats run by Congress were encouraging gross anomalies. Gogoi said that by resorting to various fraudulent means, each co-operative was selling 100 quintals of BPL rice in the black market.

    “The supply superintendent in the Golaghat district charges Rs 5000 to 10,000 as commission from the co-operatives, the inspectors charges Rs 1000 to 2000 as commission,” alleged Gogoi.

    The Golaghat district has 36 co-operatives in three subdivisions, and during the period from April 2006 to March 2007, the district got 1,10,156.57 quintals of rice under Antyodaya Anna Yojana, 1,67,971.32 quintal of rice under the BPL scheme, and 1,88,680 quintal of rice under APL scheme. But with the help of the RTI and its audit team, the KMSS has unearthed that 2719.66 quintal of Antyodaya rice and 5424.96 quintal of BPL rice disappeared while being transferred from the FCI godown to the co-operative godown.

    “There is a chain of corruption from the FCI godown to the co-operative godown to the agents and if this is not checked, the needy people will always be deprived despite all the welfare schemes which the Government is implementing for them,” lamented Gogoi.

    The KMSS said that the officials in the district, riding high on their bureaucratic arrogance had intentionally raised hurdles in the way of accessing information about the public distribution system under the RTI Act. The KMSS called upon the authorities concerned to implement the RTI Act in the right spirit in the State and to take action against those officials who were preventing the common people from accessing information.

    The Assam Tribune Online





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    Re: Major anomalies in PDS unearthed


    Centre seeks report on PDS scam

    GUWAHATI, Dec 14 — The series of scams unearthed by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) in the public distribution system (PDS) with the help of the Right to Information (RTI) Act has invited the attention of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India. The Joint Secretary of the department, Dr Bhagwan Sahai on Friday sought a detailed report of the irregularities in the PDS in Golaghat from the KMSS and gave the assurance that steps would be taken immediately to plug the loopholes in the distribution system.

    The KMSS members, while intimating the Joint Secretary about the anomalies in the PDS, requested him not to curtail the PDS allotment to the State.

    Revealing another irregularity in the distribution of PDS kerosene in Golaghat dug up through the RTI Act, the KMSS said that the total allotment of kerosene to the district between the period from April 2006 to March 2007 was 1,02,07,890 litres but the 14 depots of the district received 1,02,10,000 litres.

    “The irregularities start from Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL), from where the depot owners manage more than their allotted share by paying extra money,” alleged working president of KMSS Pabitrabrat Daimary and general secretary Akhil Gogoi.

    The KMSS functionaries further alleged that the agents got 15 to 20 per cent less than their due from the depots. “The agents in turn give less to the consumers depriving them of their allotted quota,” said the functionaries, showing documents revealing the chain of corruption from the top to the bottom level.

    Though the Government rate for kerosene is fixed at Rs 9.32 per litre for areas that are 50 km away from the depots, the consumers have been paying Rs 11 to Rs 12.50 per litre, said KMSS.

    The KMSS said that they had uncovered another anomaly, which was mixing of kerosene with petrol.

    According to information accessed by the KMSS under the RTI, in 11 GPSS in Golaghat sub-division, the allotment of kerosene was 3,30,517 litres, but the agents got 2,53,266 litres.

    “The depot owners had sold 77,251 litres in the open market,” alleged Daimary and Gogoi.

    The office-bearers said that in Bokakhat sub-division, for four GPSS, the allotment for the agents was 1,58,735 litres, but they endorsed in their record book 1,28,331 litres.

    “The depot owners had sold 30,404 litres of kerosene in the open market,” alleged KMSS functionaries.

    The KMSS, while welcoming the intervention of the Government of India into the anomalies in the PDS, demanded a CBI inquiry into the scams.

    Warning that it would launch an agitation if the State Government- initiated inquiries are an effort at eyewash, the KMSS said that it would help the investigating parties with information at its disposal.

    The Assam Tribune Online



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    Re: Major anomalies in PDS unearthed


    Another PDS scam surfaces in Golaghat
    </B>
    By A City Correspondent
    GUWAHATI, Dec 17 – The series of scams in the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Golaghat, Jorhat and Sivasagar districts unearthed by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) with the help of the Right to Information (RTI) Act has shaken the Government out of its slumber. Close on the heels of the Joint Secretary of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, seeking a detailed report on the irregularities from the KMSS, the co-operative department has decided to conduct an enquiry into the matter. The Registrar of the department, the Joint Registrar, Jorhat and the Deputy Commissioner of Golaghat have announced conducting of separate probes into the anomalies, informed the KMSS.

    Meanwhile, the KMSS on Monday revealed another scandal in the PDS of Golaghat in connection to distribution of sugar from April 2006 to October 2007 unearthed with the help of RTI Act.

    As per information accessed by KMSS under the RTI Act, a total of 129040 quintal of sugar was allotted to the district, out of which the Golaghat sub-division was allotted 81930 quintal, the Bokakhat sub-division was allotted 19010 quintal and the Dhansiri sub-division was allotted 28100

    quintal. But Golaghat sub-division lifted 55000 quintal, Bokakhat sub-division lifted 16000 quintal and Dhansiri sub-division lifted 4985 quintal approximately, the total lifting of PDS sugar amounting to 75985 quintal.

    “The co-operatives do not lift their total allotment citing reasons of financial crunch or poor sale due to the poor quality of sugar,” said Akhil Gogoi, general secretary of KMSS.

    It needs to be mentioned here that the Government rate for PDS sugar is fixed at Rs 1347.32 per quintal

    The KMSS alleged that in Golaghat and Bokakhat sub-division, around 49700 quintal of PDS sugar went to the black market, the cost of which would amount to Rs 66961804 as per the Government rate. “But in the open market, a quintal of sugar fetches a minimum of Rs 1600, and if we go by the open market rate, the profit in the illegal marketing of PDS sugar would be a minimum of Rs 12558196, so the total scandal in PDS sugar in Golaghat and Bokakhat sub-division is Rs 79520000,” alleged the KMSS.

    Pointing to anomalies at the lower levels of co-operatives and agents, the KMSS said that by examining the quota endorsement books of the agents, it found a gap between the allotment and receiving. In Golaghat sub-division, 364 agents were allotted 7830.58 quintal, but they received only 2225.50 quintal, with 5605.04 quintal going to the black market.

    “The 5000 consumers we surveyed, gave us in writing that they were receiving sugar only twice a year at the time of Bihu,” said Akhil Gogoi adding that though the Government rate for PDS sugar was fixed at Rs 13.50 per kg for the consumers, the agents sold the sugar at Rs 18 per kg to the rural consumers, and the fair price shops sold sugar to the urban consumers at Rs 15 per kg.

    The KMSS further alleged that a section of the FCI officials too were to be blamed for the sorry state of affairs in the PDS. The KMSS said that in the FCI godowns, water was sprayed over the sugar bags so that the quality became poor and the public formed a low opinion of the PDS items.

    The Assam Tribune Online


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    Re: Major anomalies in PDS unearthed



    KMSS unearths rice scam in Golaghat

    By A City Correspondent

    GUWAHATI, December 21 – The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on Friday revealed yet another scam in connection with allotment and lifting of rice meant for beneficiaries above the poverty line (APL) through the public distribution system (PDS) in Golaghat district. The KMSS said that the scandal unearthed with the help of the Right to Information (RTI) Act was the biggest one in the district in terms of anomalies, which were to the tune of Rs 23.50 crore.

    The KMSS, which has dug up several irregularities in the distribution of flour, kerosene, sugar and other essential items in the PDS in Golaghat, Jorhat and Sivasagar district through RTI, said that the huge difference between allotment and lifting of APL rice in Golaghat district was a matter of grave concern as it pointed to a grim picture of the needy being deprived by the same departments entrusted with meeting their needs.

    As per information accessed through RTI, 2,59,094.86 quintal APL rice was allotted to the three sub-divisions of Golaghat between the period from April 2006 to November 2007 for 83,290 beneficiaries. The Government rate for the APL rice is Rs 830 per quintal and the total price of the APL rice allotted to the district stands at Rs 21,50,48,733.80. But the KMSS alleged that a major portion of the APL rice went to the black market.

    It may be mentioned here that for the Dhansiri sub-division of the district, 45,281.40 quintal APL rice was allotted in the period. The lifting was 29,042.95 quintal. In Golaghat sub-division, the allotment was 1,59,292.16 quintal and in Bokakhat sub-division the allotment was 54,521.30 quintal, and the lifting in both the sub-division was total.

    “But the gross irregularities came to light after examining the quota endorsement books of the agents in the sub-divisions,” said Akhil Gogoi, general secretary of the KMSS.

    The KMSS, producing documents, alleged that 903 agents in the sub-divisions were allotted 67,643.13 quintal of APL rice between April 2006 and March 2007, but they did not receive 51,046.70 quintal.

    The Golaghat sub-division has 22 co-operatives, and the KMSS claimed that its audit team examined the quota endorsement books of 465 agents of 15 co-operatives.

    “The APL rice allotment for these agents between April 2006 to March 2007 was 27,721.62 quintal, but they received only 5,109.57 quintal, the rest going to the black market,” said Gogoi.

    For 113 agents in the Dhansiri sub-division, the allotment was 12,024 quintal but the agents lifted only 3,410.93 quintal. In Bokakhat sub-division, the allotment for 325 agents was 27,897.51 quintal and the lifting was 8,075.93 quintal.

    “The rampant corruption patronized by a section of the officials of the Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department has pushed the PDS and the consumers to the edge,” said Gogoi.

    The KMSS, while surveying 5,000 consumers, found that they received APL rice after three or four months. “The co-operatives have been taking Rs 920 per quintal from the agents though the maximum the co-operatives can charge is Rs 866.38 per quintal,” said the KMSS.

    The Assam Tribune Online



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    Re: Major anomalies in PDS unearthed


    After RTI disclosure, raids reveal PDS rice in godown

    Guwahati, December 26: Two weeks after members of an NGO called the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) made serious allegations of corruption in the public distribution system and complained of large-scale diversion of food materials meant for people living below poverty line, an enquiry team has detected huge quantities of rice and sugar stored in an unauthorised manner in Golaghat.

    A team of officials entrusted with probing the allegations has seized 9,719.50 quintals of rice and 1,811 quintals of sugar, which were illegally stored in a godown supposedly owned by the Golaghat Wholesale Cooperative Society at Dergaon but believed to belong to a private trader.

    The team was led by a Joint Director of the Food and Civil Supplies Department, which toured three districts, including Golaghat, where the irregularities were allegedly committed. The godown has now been sealed.
    Though officials refused to confirm the seizure saying the probe was yet to be completed, sources said a number of documents were also found proving that PDS items were being diverted from BPL beneficiares to private traders, who in turn profited by selling these items in the open market.

    More seizures are likely to take place in the next few days.

    KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi, who had used the Right to Information Act to determine the diversion of PDS items, earlier this month said huge quantities of rice, sugar, atta, salt and kerosene oil meant for BPL card holders in Golaghat, Jorhat and Sivasagar districts were finding their way to the open market.

    According to Gogoi, between April 2006 and March 2007, at least 2,719 quintals of Antyodaya rice and 5,425 quintals of BPL rice dispatched from FCI godowns had never reached the beneficiaries. Between April 2006 and November 2007, 79,947 quintals of flour (out of 88,830 quintals) allotted for Golaghat district had gone out to the open market, he said, after analysing over 1.5 lakh pages of documents extracted using the RTI Act.

    While the Assam government instituted a departmental probe on the basis of the KMSS charges, the Central Food and Public Distribution Department too has called for a report from the Assam Government on the matter.

    IndianExpress.com :: After RTI disclosure, raids reveal PDS rice in godown

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    Re: Major anomalies in PDS unearthed


    As reported by City Correspondent in assamtribune.com on 14 February 2008:
    The Assam Tribune Online

    Govt pulled up for inaction against accused

    GUWAHATI, Feb 13 – The State Information Commission has expressed its displeasure over the failure of the Government in initiating action against the officers involved in the corrupt practices in the Public Distribution System (PDS) scam in Golaghat, and conveyed this to the Chief Secretary, Government of Assam. The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) which had unearthed a series of scams in the PDS in Golaghat, Jorhat and Sivasagar districts by accessing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, had alleged before the Commission that no action was taken against the guilty officials exposed by the KMSS and the RTI.

    Acting on a written complaint submitted to the State Chief Information Commissioner by the KMSS, the office of the Commission has requested the Chief Secretary to take appropriate steps in the matter and inform the Commission of the action taken by the Government.

    The Commission has observed that unless the Government took corrective steps on the basis of the exposure credited to KMSS, corruption in public service cannot be contained which was the primary objective of the RTI Act.

    While welcoming the keenness shown by the Commission on Wednesday, Akhil Gogoi, general secretary of KMSS said before mediapersons that the so-called investigations carried out by the Government into the alleged anomalies in the PDS had come to nothing.

    “The Government announced that the enquiries by the co-operative and the supply departments would be made public within 10 days and the guilty would be punished, but two months have elapsed and still there is no public report,” said Gogoi.

    Gogoi further said that there was no co-ordination between the co-operative and the supply department and the entire process of investigation had become a farce.

    It may be mentioned here that except for an interim report of the Zonal Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Jorhat, there has been no progress in the investigations announced by the Government.

    The interim report supports most of the allegations made by the KMSS including the complaint that the GPSS were not maintaining books of accounts properly.

    Gogoi said that latest move of the Government in handing over the investigation of the PDS irregularities to the Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offences (BIEO) was regrettable as that would further delay the outcome of the entire exercise.

    Gogoi announced that the KMSS was contemplating filing a PIL in the Supreme Court regarding the PDS scam in the State.

    The KMSS has called upon the Chief Minister to take action against the corrupt officials and streamline the PDS.



  7. #7

    Re: Major anomalies in PDS unearthed


    Scams exposed. Directions given. Enquiries ordered. Promises made. But finally what good came out of all this? I am reminded of the following lines from Robert Southey's famous poem "Battle of Blenheim":-
    "But what good came of it at last?"
    Quoth little Peterkin.
    "Why that I cannot tell," said he,
    "But 'twas a famous victory."

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    Re: Major anomalies in PDS unearthed


    As reported by Staff Correspondent on assamtribune.com on 20 March 2008:
    The Assam Tribune Online

    Probe ordered in 27 districts

    GUWAHATI, March 19 – Bowing to public pressure since the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) had unearthed large-scale anomalies in the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Golaghat, Sivasagar and Jorhat on the strength of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the State Government has ordered thorough investigations in the PDS in 27 districts. Meanwhile, the co-operative department has suspended the managing committees of 11 co-operatives and removed the secretaries in Golaghat district.

    In an urgent message, the State Chief Secretary directed the deputy commissioners to conduct in-depth “inspection, inquiry and examination” into the present state of affairs in the PDS and submit the findings within one-and-a-half-months.

    In the message, the Chief Secretary made it clear to the Deputy Commissioners that the Government was taking the reports of anomalies in the PDS published in the media seriously, and exhorted the district heads to comply earnestly with the Government directive.

    The Deputy Commissioners have been asked to investigate the goings-on in the PDS during the period between March 2006 to October 2007 and after that. For the investigation, the Deputy Commissioners have been asked to constitute an investigative committee to be headed by an executive magistrate.

    The series of scams in the PDS dug up by the KMSS had even drawn the attention of the Central Government, and the State Government had handed over the investigation of the PDS scams in Golaghat, Sivasagar and Jorhat to the Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offences (BIEO).

    The State Government has reportedly expressed its displeasure over the slow progress of the investigations.

    The State Government has also directed the Deputy Commissioners to initiate action against the guilty immediately.

    The KMSS, while welcoming the directive of the Government, said that any lackadaisical attitude on the part of the district administrations would prove costly to the poor and the needy. KMSS general secretary, Akhil Gogoi said that curtailment of the allotted quota of PDS items to the State by the Central Government on account of the rampant anomalies would be detrimental to the State’s needy section.


    Twitter: @cjkarira

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